Friday after the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 2 Kings 2:19-25; 4:1-7 (NKJV)
2:19 Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren.” 20 And he said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. 21 Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.'” 22 So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.
23 Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” 24 So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths. 25 Then he went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.
4:1 A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.” 2 So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” 3 Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. 4 And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.”
5 So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. 6 Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. 7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”
In our reading for today we see just how compassionate our Lord is concerning the welfare of those who confess His saving Name. In the first case, we see how God overcomes death through water and a clarifying agent of salt, which is a most beautiful picture of how God overcomes death through water and the clarifying agent of His Holy Word, through which the Spirit of God creates faith, life, hope and salvation. In 2 Kings 4:1-7 we see how God works through His servant to provide daily bread and future existence.
As in our text, there are always those who despise whom God uses to show His power and compassion, namely, His chosen servants. In our first text, people mocked Elisha because of his baldness, which caused him to condemn the mockers and two bears mauled his mockers.
Today, people use too many cookie-cutter concepts to determine who should be in the Office of the Holy Ministry or who should not. (Such people should also be wary of bears.) Often servants are not received or accepted based on color, size, disabilities, wives, children, to the mockery of God Who calls these men into the Holy Ministry based on their faithfulness to the Word of God. When God’s will is accomplished, people are simply strengthened to rely on the gifts that God gives, like daily bread in this life, just as He provided for the woman and her two sons.
We pray: Lord, open Thou my heart to hear and through Thy Word to me draw near; Let me Thy Word ever pure retain, let me Thy child and heir remain. Amen. (TLH 5:1)